Sunday, November 20, 2005

Shrimp & Pea Risotto



Risotto is not something I make very often, just because I can't seem to find the time to stand close to the stove and keep stirring to get a creamy, irresistible risotto that I always hear about. Well, as I found out, a little effort, fresh shrimp, good stock and voila! there you have a masterpiece!. The picture doesn't do justice to the way the risotto tasted, the recipe needs a considerable amount to stock, I used the store-bought variety, next time, I'll plan a little ahead and make some stock at home full of flavor and a little less heavy on the sodium. Plans, plans, plans!

Risotto rice or arborio rice as it is otherwise known is available in most grocery stores and it is a good idea to have it at home and snap it out when you are running low on groceries, as a few ingredients will do the trick. Make sure you don't skimp on the butter (maybe just a little bit) and freshly ground pepper.

I did cheat a bit and sneaked away from the stove, but hey, a gap in stirring didn't create a mess as long as you watch the heat. I'll be making this again soon, maybe with clams or scallops, any ideas are most welcome !

Ingredients:

1. 1 Onion, chopped finely
2. 2 cups Frozen Peas
3. 1 pound Shrimp, shelled & deveined
4. 1/2 stick butter
5. 1/2 Cup Marsala wine
6. 1 cup Arborio Rice
7. 1 1/2 tbsp. chopped Garlic
8. Stock (any kind that is available)
9. Salt to taste
10. Freshly ground pepper
11. Grated Parmesan

Method:

Melt the butter in a pan, add onion and garlic and keep stirring till soft. Add the rice and stir till it is coated with the butter, and then add the wine and boil till it is reduced.

Add ladles of stock and keep stirring till it is absorbed and the grains are almost done. Add the Shrimp and the remaining stock and stir for a few minutes till it is completely cooked. Add the peas and salt & pepper. Top with grated parmesan. Serve hot.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Gajar ka Halwa



Gajar ka Halwa and Carrot cake are two of my favorite things to make with carrots and hold a special place in my culinary repertoire. Though Gajar ka Halwa, which can be loosely translated to carrot pudding is a more time taking process the results are nevertheless rewarding. Made in the majority of the Indian subcontinent with slight variations, it is a great accompaniment to icecream much like a slice of pie.

My recipe may be tweaked a little bit to suit your taste, but I would strongly recommend using whole milk and ofcourse using cardamom, which is a key flavour. Grating the carrots was a time consuming process but if you have willing assistants, please feel free to delegate this task!

Can be eaten both hot or cold. I included almonds in my recipe, but raisins and pistachios would be a nice touch too.

Gajar ka Halwa
Recipe

Ingredients:

1. 10 large Carrots, finely grated
2. 3/4 tin Condensed milk
3. 4 tsp. Ricotta cheese
4. Sugar
5. Whole Milk - 3 1/2 to 4 cups
6. Handful of slivered Almonds
7. Freshly ground Cardamom -1 tsp.
8. 3-4 Tbsp. Butter or Ghee (Indian Clarified butter) + 1 Tbsp. to add in the end.

Method:

Heat the butter or ghee in a large pan and add the grated carrots and stir for a few minutes till the carrots are roughly coated with oil. Then add half the cardamom and the milk in small increments and keep stirring till the mixture starts to turn dry, then add some more milk and keep stirring, increase the heat if needed till all the milk is almost used up.

Add the sugar,condensed milk,slivered almonds & ricotta cheese. Keep stirring till the mixture starts pulling away from the sides of the pan. Add the rest of the cardamom and the ghee. Garnish with almonds.

Brief Hiatus

Haven't posted on the blog for a while now. A lot of balls in the air, but things have started to slow down a little bit now. Touch wood! Will try to blog more and have fun with it. :)